Georgia GOP ‘civil war’ might be over
August 2, 2022
Also in today’s Swing State Georgia:
Herschel Walker blasts MSNBC critic.
Gun politics hover over canceled music festival.
Georgia Republicans lose a lawsuit against Nancy Pelosi.
It has now been ten weeks since Gov. Brian Kemp and his GOP allies blitzed a group of candidates endorsed by Donald Trump in the Georgia Primary.
The big races weren't even close, as Kemp throttled ex-Sen. David Perdue - who had run specifically at the behest of Trump - winning 74 to 22 percent.
While Trump has not endorsed Kemp, the former President also hasn't gone after the Georgia Governor.
While that could change at any minute, there's growing hope inside state Republican circles that things are heading in the right direction for GOP unity in November. Our Insider Greg Bluestein reports:
Senior Georgia Republicans don’t expect Trump to suddenly bury the hatchet and endorse Kemp, whom he has wrongly blamed for his election defeat in Georgia since 2020. But Kemp’s aides have pushed for a détente to scale down the vitriol.
Among the emissaries was Derrick Dickey, a longtime Perdue aide who later helmed a pro-Kemp outside group. He and others trusted in Trump’s circles pointed to Kemp’s repeated pledge that he “never once said a bad word” about the former president.
So far, the tightrope act is working. The former president hasn’t issued any recent condemnations of Kemp or the other statewide contenders he sought to defeat a few months ago.
The most recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released last week confirmed the feeling on the ground around the state about the GOP. It showed about 93% of Republicans support Kemp’s reelection bid — roughly the same proportion of Democrats that support Stacey Abrams.
TRUMP GRAND JURY. Attorneys for a Republican U.S. Senator have told a federal judge that there is no reason he should have to honor a subpoena for testimony in the Georgia investigation of Donald Trump's effort to overturn his 2020 election loss.
"The Fulton County District Attorney wants to force U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham to testify as a witness about two phone calls he made in the process of fulfilling his duties as U.S. Senator," Graham's legal team argued, as they asked the judge to quash his subpoena.
But while Graham downplays what happened, the Georgia Secretary of State has had a different recollection of those phone calls. Brad Raffensperger has said Graham was leaning on him to throw out mail-in ballots after the 2020 elections.
It was the calls by Graham which led Raffensperger to record a separate phone call from Donald Trump - where Trump asked Raffensperger to 'find' over 11,000 votes for Trump, so he could be declared the victor.
Speaking of Raffensperger, our AJC colleague Tamar Hallerman spoke with the Georgia Secretary of State about the grand jury investigation. You can listen on the latest episode of 'Breakdown.'
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VIRAL MOMENT. Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker blasted author Elie Mystal after he criticized the former football star on MSNBC as a candidate who embodies “what Republicans want from their Negroes.”